Aaron Alvarado’s journey to working on Nebraska Medicine’s orthopedic floor began with lemonade and cookies.
That’s what he was distributing as a volunteer on that same floor in college, and that’s where he eventually became a CNA. Today, Alvarado’s job as charge nurse involves overseeing patient load, supervising a team of nurses and nursing assistants, and planning the night shift schedule.
Yes, he’s come a long way since his lemonade and cookie days, but it’s not because of anything he’s done on his own, he said. “There’s a lot of teamwork in my unit and a strong support system behind me.”
His patients see him differently. Thanks to Alvarado’s special trips to the hospital’s gift shop for everyday items like journals, crossword puzzles, notepads and even dental floss, they have known joy.
“They are pushed, pushed and disturbed all the time. I just want to give them a sense of comfort, and something so small means so much to them,” he said. “It can really brighten their day.”
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It was ice cream that did the trick for her great-grandmother. Alvarado was by his side during his last weeks of life, and the experience meant so much to him that he decided to pursue his career in nursing.
He started working on Nebraska Medicine’s orthopedic floor as a CNA soon after in 2014, and he hasn’t left the floor since.
“I really enjoy the rehabilitation process and teaching patients what they need to do to stay safe and healthy,” he said.
Her training undoubtedly includes questions about the little things in life that bring them joy.